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How to slow down and be present with your child

children teach us what life is all about quote

Guest post written by Michelle Long, M.A. of Bloom Retreat

It seems as though the world around us is speeding up at an accelerated pace. We are rushing from appointment to appointment, taking our kids from one activity to the next, working multiple jobs, and trying to maintain a busy household. Our children are growing up in a fast-paced world with busy schedules and busy parents. Often times, as we are racing through our days, our children simply want to slow down.

Recently I was walking with my 5-year-old son in the grocery store parking lot, hurrying him along so we could get into the store and get our shopping done. He suddenly stopped to look closely at some flowers and smell them. My initial reaction was:

Come on Buddy, let’s go. We can’t just stop here, we are on our way into the store…”

how to slow down and be present with your child

Stop and Smell the Roses

And then I realized I NEED TO SLOW DOWN. Here was my child, literally stopping to smell the roses. He was living in the present moment, taking in the world around him, and I was rushing him. I began to ask myself, who am I to keep my son from being present and noticing the details of the flowers? Why am I hurrying him through his day just so we can get into the store 30 seconds sooner? My son reminded me to slow down, be present, and to not to rush past the beauty around me.

When we are in the present moment, we often realize that there isn’t a need to be in a hurry. Here are a few ways that we can learn how to slow down and practice being present with our children in the midst of our busy day:

1. Take five or ten minutes each day for “special time” with your child.

Put down your phone and give 100% of your attention to being present with him or her. Let your child choose how you will spend your time. You might find that without distractions, you are both drawn into the present moment.

2. Step outside with your child and look for things you have never noticed before.

Maybe this is just the numbers on the curb, the shape of a nearby tree, or the view behind the buildings. Taking time to notice our surroundings helps to bring us into the present.

3. Practice conscious breathing with your child.

Talk about breathing and teach your child to feel the belly rise and fall with each breath. See what happens when both you and your child slow your breathing down. It can have the power to calm the body and the mind.

Often our children are our best teachers, and just by observing them, we can see what it means to be present and the value of slowing down.

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.” –Angela Schwindt

How do you slow down with your children? Do you feel too busy or overwhelmed at times?

If you are looking for ways to slow down during your personal “ME-time,” check out what you can do once the kids are asleep. And if you live near the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Bloom Retreat in Walnut Creek where mothers can take a break, recharge, and remember to slow down and be present for themselves and their children too.

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2 Responses to How to slow down and be present with your child

  1. Ryan September 6, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Riding bikes as a family on a daily basis has helped us to slow down.

  2. Joy Beyond Fifty September 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Life has a way of speeding up once your life is filled with parenthood duties. Take it from a mom of four (ages 8 to 32), and grandparent of two (ages 3 and 5), slowing down to spend quality time with those we love is one of the absolute best investments you will ever make in your lifetime.

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